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(1) The following general performance standards shall apply to activities permitted within critical areas or critical area buffers located within the shoreline jurisdiction. Additional standards may be necessary based on site-specific considerations or proposed development impacts.

(2) General Performance Standards.

(a) Areas of new permanent disturbance and all areas of temporary disturbance shall be mitigated and/or restored pursuant to a mitigation and restoration plan.

(b) Mitigation, when allowed, shall ensure that development activity does not yield a net loss of the area or function of the critical areas.

(c) Mitigation Sequencing. Mitigation plans shall include a discussion of mitigation alternatives (sequencing) as they relate to mitigation sequencing provisions of ECMC 16.20.230, Environmental protection.

(d) Mitigation Plan. When mitigation is required, the applicant shall submit for approval of a mitigation plan as part of the critical area report. The mitigation plan shall include:

(i) A written report identifying mitigation objectives, including:

(A) A description of the anticipated impacts to the critical areas and the mitigating actions proposed and the purposes of the compensation measures, including the site selection criteria; identification of compensation objectives; identification of critical area functions and values; and dates for beginning and completion of site compensation construction activities;

(B) A review of the most current, accurate, and complete scientific or technical information available supporting the proposed mitigation and a description of the report author’s professional qualifications;

(C) An analysis of the likelihood of success of the compensation project.

(ii) Measurable criteria for evaluating whether or not the objectives of the mitigation plan have been successfully attained and whether or not the requirements of this chapter have been met.

(iii) Written specifications and descriptions of the mitigation proposed, including, but not limited to:

(A) The proposed construction sequence, timing, and duration;

(B) Grading and excavation details;

(C) Erosion and sediment control features;

(D) A planting plan specifying plant species, quantities, locations, size, spacing, and density; and

(E) Measures to protect and maintain plants until established.

(iv) A program for monitoring construction of the compensation project, and for assessing the completed project and its effectiveness over time. The program shall include a schedule for site monitoring and methods to be used in evaluating whether performance standards are being met. A monitoring report shall be submitted as needed to document milestones, successes, problems, and contingency actions of the compensation project. The compensation project shall be monitored for a period necessary to establish that performance standards have been met, but not for a period less than 10 years.

(v) Identify potential courses of action, and any corrective measures to be taken if monitoring or evaluation indicates project performance standards are not being met.

(vi) Additional provisions as required for specific critical area types (e.g., wetlands, etc.)

(e) Mitigation, maintenance, monitoring and contingency plans shall be implemented by the developer to protect critical areas and their buffers prior to the commencement of any development activities. Where mitigation is required herein, the following performance standards shall be met:

(i) Mitigation planting survival will be 100 percent for the first year, and 80 percent for each of the four years following.

(ii) Mitigation must be installed no later than the next growing season after completion of site improvements, unless otherwise approved by the shoreline administrator.

(iii) Where necessary, a permanent means of irrigation shall be installed for the mitigation plantings that are designed by a landscape architect or equivalent professional, as approved by the shoreline administrator. The design shall meet the specific needs of the vegetation, as may be applicable.

(iv) On-site monitoring and monitoring reports shall be submitted to the city one year after mitigation installation; three years after mitigation installation; and five years after mitigation installation. The length of time involved in monitoring and monitoring reports may be increased by the shoreline administrator for a development project on a case-by-case basis when longer monitoring time is necessary to establish or reestablish functions and values of the mitigation site. Monitoring reports shall be submitted by a qualified professional biologist. The biologist must verify that the conditions of approval and provisions in the wetland management and mitigation plan have been satisfied.

(v) Monitoring reports by the biologist must include verification that the planting areas have less than 20 percent total nonnative/invasive plant cover consisting of exotic and/or invasive species. Exotic and invasive species may include any species on the state noxious weed list, or considered a noxious or problem weed by the Grant County noxious weed board, local conservation districts, or other applicable agencies.

(vi) Mitigation sites shall be maintained to ensure that the mitigation and management plan objectives are successful. Maintenance shall include corrective actions to rectify problems, include rigorous, as-needed elimination of undesirable plants; protection of shrubs and small trees from competition by grasses and herbaceous plants, and repair and replacement of any dead plants.

(vii) Prior to site development and/or building permit issuance, a performance surety agreement shall be submitted by the applicant and shall be reviewed and approved by the city, including the city attorney. The surety agreement must include the complete costs for the mitigation and monitoring which may include but not be limited to: the cost of installation, delivery, plant material, soil amendments, permanent irrigation, seed mix, and three monitoring visits and reports by a qualified professional biologist, including Washington State sales tax. The city must approve the quote for said improvements.

(viii) Sequential release of funds associated with the surety agreement shall be reviewed for conformance with the conditions of approval and the mitigation and management plan. Release of funds may occur in increments of one-third for substantial conformance with the plan and conditions of approval. If the standards that are not met are only minimally out of compliance and contingency actions are actively being pursued by the property owner to bring the project into compliance, the city may choose to consider a partial release of the scheduled increment. Noncompliance can result in one or more of the following actions: carry-over of the surety amount to the next review period; use of funds to remedy the nonconformance; scheduling a hearing with the appropriate hearing body to review conformance with the conditions of approval and to determine what actions may be appropriate.

(3) Trails and Trail-Related Facilities.

(a) Construction of commercial, public and private trails, and trail-related facilities, such as picnic tables, benches, interpretive centers and signs, viewing platforms and campsites may be authorized within designated resource lands and critical areas, subject to the following minimum standards:

(i) Trail facilities shall, to the extent feasible, be placed on existing road grades, utility corridors, or any other previously disturbed areas.

(ii) Trail facilities shall minimize the removal of trees, shrubs, snags and important habitat features. Vegetation management performed in accordance with best management practices as part of ongoing maintenance to eliminate a hazard to trail users is considered consistent with this standard.

(iii) Viewing platforms, interpretive centers, campsites, picnic areas, benches and their associated access shall be designed and located to minimize disturbance of wildlife and/or critical characteristics of the affected conservation area.

(iv) All facilities shall be constructed with materials complementary to the surrounding environment.

(v) Trail facilities that parallel the shoreline may be located in the outer 25 percent of the buffer area.

(A) Commercial and public trails shall not exceed 10 feet in width.

(B) Private trails shall not exceed four feet in width.

(vi) Trails that provide direct shoreline access shall not exceed four feet in width and shall be kept to the minimum number necessary to serve the intended purpose.

(vii) Review and analysis of a proposed trail facility shall demonstrate no net loss of ecological functions and values in conformance with this chapter.

(viii) Trail facilities shall not be exempt from special report requirements, as may be required by this chapter. (Ord. 484 § 2, 2014)